Clichéd advice that actually works: Write what you know

In this video Ricky Gervais shares the writing advice that shaped his style. It’s simple advice. It’s advice that is repeated so often that it sometimes turns into background noise.

Write what you know.

Sometimes this advice is understood very literally. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as beautiful, intriguing nonfiction can come out of that interpretation. A story about your mother cleaning an old woman’s house can be a work of art.

But I’ve always interpreted it more liberally. A writer may not have the actual experience to back up a particular piece of story – most fantasy authors have probably never ridden a dragon – but the concept still applies. Honesty can still be at the heart of even the most “unrealistic” story. The art of storytelling isn’t limited to fiction, nonfiction, novels or screenplays, but in every medium it relies on resonating with the audience. And nothing resonates like honesty.

Give your eyes a break with f.lux

The way we work has changed. More writing happens in front of a computer screen than ever before, and it’s not uncommon to spend hours in front of a screen every day.

It turns out, that’s not great for your eyes. But eye strain can seem hard to avoid – when almost all your work is on-screen, how are you supposed to keep your eyes rested?

One option available is f.lux. f.lux adjusts the light coming from your computer screen to mimic the natural light cycle of the day. It can help ease a bit of the eye strain, and some users have seen improvement on insomnia as well. Give it a shot at

This is literally the worst change to the English language since ‘irregardless’

Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation:

The definition of the word literally has been changed. Dictionaries including Google, Cambridge, and Merriam Webster have all made the controversial move. Frustrated grammar nerds everywhere can probably take a guess at the new meaning; it’s like their worst fears have literally come to life.

Literally now officially means “used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true.” That’s right, figuratively is now actually an antonym and synonym for the word.

For those of you out there ready to commence with the weeping and gnashing of teeth, know this:’s got your back. They’re holding their ground, though an editor’s note does mention the controversy.

The Type of Horror

He Knows You're Alone typography

Modern horror movie posters seem to follow a formula: take a dramatically lit photo of the lead or big bad person, crop it in super close, and throw an all caps, simple, sans-serif font on it for the title. Or maybe a very thin serif in all caps, if you wanna get crazy. (Seriously though, just look at these: The Purge, The Last Exorcism, Carrie)

But it wasn’t always this way – there was a time when horror movies got the first class treatment with beautiful custom logotypes. In the 80′s the genre enjoyed a boom in popularity, and movies like The Evil Dead and The Fog led the way with beautiful distinct type. Take a closer look at The Verge.